‘Captain America: Civil War’: 1 Moment That ‘Cheated on Physics’ After Months of Debate in the Editing Room

Marvel movies are not known for following the laws of nature. Most of the time, audiences are so invested in the action that they don’t take the time to question how realistic everything is. However, the filmmakers do take physics into account when creating action sequences. The Russo brothers, directors of Captain America: Civil War, revealed that they cheated on physics for one moment after debating in the editing room.

‘Captain America: Civil War’ features an epic fight between the Avengers

Anthony and Joe Russo attend a screening of Captain America: Civil War
Anthony and Joe Russo | Jim Spellman/WireImage

One of the most exciting moments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is when the Avengers fight in Captain America: Civil War. The sequence takes place at an airport as Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and War Machine (Don Cheadle) are trying to prevent Captain America (Chris Evans) from fleeing with Bucky (Sebastian Stan). 

The heroes are joined by Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Vision (Paul Bettany), and Spider-Man (Tom Holland). Each hero picks a side whether they be on Team Cap or Team Iron Man. It’s an amazing fight that features plenty of iconic moments such as the debut of Spider-Man in the MCU and Ant-Man finally growing giant. 

1 moment in ‘Civil War’ cheated the laws of physics

In an interview with Vanity Fair, the Russo brothers break down the airport fight in Captain America: Civil War, specifically the moment when the warring sides charge at each other in a memorable shot. The directors shared that they cheated physics by having the Iron Man suits take flight, even though they had not reached the approximate velocity they would have needed to fly based on the weight of the suits. 

“I remember having long conversations agonizing with our visual effects supervisor, Dan DeLeeuw, because as Iron Man takes off and War Machine, their suits are so heavy, and this is the kind of physics that we break down and use in order to construct how people move,” Anthony Russo said. “We have an estimated weight of both of these suits so we can figure out how they move. In order for these guys to fly, they have to be moving at a much higher velocity or they will just fall out of the air like a stone. But we needed to compress them into a single shot so we got this nice running shot here. This is one of those moments where we cheated on physics.”

The two directors compromised by putting the character’s hands down to make it seem as though the hand thrusters were doing most of the heavy lifting. 

Many of the characters in the running shot were created by CGI

The Russo brothers revealed which elements of the scene were actually there and which were created using CGI. Most of the background was done via digital effects, but also some of the characters were as well. Joe Russo revealed that all of the characters on Cap’s side were in the running shot, but on Iron Man’s side, the only two who were real were Black Widow and Black Panther.

“It was Scarlett literally running by herself with a stunt player in a 128-degree blacktop over and over,” Joe explained. “I remember her looking at us at one point going, ‘We can’t do this one more time.’”

Captain America: Civil War is streaming on Disney+. 

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